My husband and I visited Napa and Sonoma last week and had a truly wonderful time. The weather was perfect, the colors were beautiful and the wine superb.
We arrived Sunday and after renting our car we enjoyed a lovely drive to American Canyon to locate our hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. Got a great deal with them thru Travelocity we just couldn't pass up. Besides, we were there for the wine, not the hotel. Regardless, we found it very nice and the staff accomodating and friendly. Would recommend this hotel.
After several recomendations we stopped at Oxbow Market in Napa and shared a lovely appetizer called "The Works" Great wine/cheese/anti pasto platter. Plenty of food for two. Enjoyed a glass of syrah and cab.
I'm just going to list the wineries we visited. We did not do tastings at all of them. We enjoyed each of them but there were few that really stood out as some of our favorites. I'll elaborate more on those.
Also, my husband and I are by no means wine experts. We enjoy wine and tend to buy what tastes good to us whether is is $5 or $75. Please bear that in mind when reading this.
Clos Du Val-loved the Pinot Noir, bought a bottle.
Stags Leap- Loved all the wines, even tried the Cask 23.
Mondavi-really pretty winery, and good wines. My husband like the naked lady statue inthe courtyard. ; )
We had dinner at Rutherford Grill. AMAZING FOOD! Liked the no-corkage fee. Shared our bottle from Clos Du Val.
On Monday we reserved a tasting at Robert Hunter Winery. Our reasonfor this is because my husband and I share the same names as Robert and his wife Ann. Although my Robert goes by Bob and I spell mine Anne. Last name is the same. We thought this was neat so we decided to go. This was the highlight of trip. Kurt was our wine expert and was so very friendly. He told us the history of the property and the beautiful gardens that were designed by Robert's friend Thomas Church. Amazing views. It was so nice when Robert and Ann came out to enjoy the tasting with us. He's 87 and she's 83. Such friendly gracious people. Made us feel so welcome and relaxed. Our main reson for going was because of the novelty of sharing the same names and I was a bit concerned that the wine would be bad. I WAS WRONG! Every wine was fabulous! We purchased 8 bottles to be shipped home. 1 of the '02 Pinot Noir, 2 of the '03 Pinot Noir, 2 of the '05 Cab, 1 of the '05 Pinot and 2 of the '07 Chardonnay. THey were all fabulous. I highly recommend visiting here. Great intimate tasting, delicious wine and beautiful environment. .
Little Winery-cool place, very friendly, tasted grapes off the vine.
Chateau St. Jean
Castello de Amarosa-fun castle tour
Clos Pegas-free tour and very neat art collection
Berringer-most impressive looking winery, good tasting too.
Went to Go Fish for dinner. Fantastic food. Husband had the halibut and I had the black sole. Very, very good!
Wednesday Went to Peju-great tasting experience with Scott. bot two bottles.
Sterling-tram ride was fun and I liked the different tasting stations set up through out. Good view of Castello De Amarosa.
After this we drove over to Korbel, stopping briefly at the petrified forest just to say we were there.
Korbel, was fun. Free tasting and a great deli. Had a nice lunch on the deck.
Next we drove to the Redwood Forest. OH MY!! How beautiful it is there. Be sure to take the windy mountain road up for the view up top. Just be careful though!
After this we drove to the coast and saw the Pacific. Ive always love the ocean and this was no disappointment! Beautiful cliffs and water! Breath taking!
Drove to Bodega Bay for dinner at the Tides. Saw a sea lion while eating dinner. Since we're short on sea lions here in Kansas, we thought it was pretty cool. Our waitress wasn't as impressed as we were. Ha!
Thursday was our last day:
Had a picnic lunch at V. Sattui. Great deli and great wine. Birds ate crackers out of my hand. Loved the cheeses.
Next was Markham. Really neat photography and very friendly staff.
Berringer again for more pictures.
I'd have to say that my top ten would be
1. Robert Hunter
3. Sequoia Grove
6. Clos Du Val
7. Stags Leap
We came home with 2 cases of wine, more knowledge about wine, and very, very special memories.
Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions and great advice. Would love to visit again!